For music therapy Interns and newbies: “But I can play it at Home – just not HERE!!”

I am challenged to try and help the following scenario: maybe you can help me out and mention how you made it through this point.  To grossly overgeneralize there seems to be two camps of students. 1) Those who are more comfortable musically 2) Those who are more comfortably “socially.”

I have a student who “gets” music therapy. She sees what’s going on, who’s doing what and why it’s good for them. She knows what the kids need and why the activities are good. She addresses behavioral issues in a positive way. And she has such an excellent voice.  But she’s rather new to guitar and piano.

She’s bumped into a new issue when playing and singing songs in our class.  Some of the newly acquired guitar skills seem to go “out the window” during the actual session.  And she tells me “I can play this at home,” and “I did it for clinical practicum class!”

I figured it out and she agreed.  What’s happening is that at home and at class she is able to just play the song. In a music therapy setting, she has to 1) remember the chords and words,  2) sing along 3) lead the kids into participating along  4) pace the activity  5) correct any behavioral problems and 6) make any musical adaptations to foster success while 7) ignoring any adult conversation between the grownups in the room (which I try to handle…) and there’s probably an 8,9, 10. I said “No wonder the chords leave you.!”

How to get around this?  Hummmm.  Just REALLY practice your guitar skills. Know your string names, and basic scale notes C.O.L.D.  To not have these basics down would be like a gym teacher having to think “move left foot forward, move right foot, pick up left leg and move it forward” while trying to teach kids running basketball dr ills.  Why do this to yourself? Really now…

To busy to practice? Watch TV with your guitar in your lap. Move your fingers to the various chord shapes silently without strumming. Do this instead of petting the dog.  Just keep acquainting your fingers to those patterns on those strings.  Make a recording (CD or MP3) of the songs you want to learn and play it while you exercise, clean the house, do your laundry and sing the melody but substitute the chord names for the lyrics.  Drive around singing the songs and move your left hand on the steering wheel like it was the guitar. You’re just drilling the shapes of the guitar chords into your subconscious so you don’t have to think about them while you’re doing the other nine things at once!  I don’t care if you have to play your alphabet chords (A ,B7, C, D, Dm, E, Em, F and G) on your hamburger before you eat it, but get those chords second nature!

Also, try to learn to tune your guitar by ear. That way it’s more automatic than cerebral and will be quicker.  Just tune it once a day. But the once a day is the important piece. Tuning it 7 times before your weekly MT placement will not do the trick. It’s the everyday part that is effective.

Please let me know what your secret is for the issue of having to do 10 things at once. I’d love to hear from you.  :)- Margie La Bella of Music Therapy Tunes.

Soon, I’ll make a VIDEO on guitar chord patterns that sound good and are useful but not that difficult. Check out my video page here and my youtube channel “MusicTherapySongs1.”

P.S. If you are reading this, it is with the permission of the student involved. I’ll miss her and wish her the best of everything.

 

“I am a Pizza” echo & participation music therapy / education lesson plan song for children

-Age: 4 to 8 plus
-Goal Area:  language,  attention,
-Objective:  This is two activities in one.  Children echo short phrases and/or put the pizza ingredients on the (paper) pizza when their ingredient is sung.
-Materials:  words and chords,  a cut out and laminated paper pizza slice and other ingredients mentioned through the lyrics.
-Method: Kids echo phrases after the therapist sings and/or puts the paper ingredients down when the therapist sings about them specifically.
-Adaptations: Try singing and making lyrics about other foods ie: tacos, salads, burritos
-Submitted by: Margie La Bella of music therapy tunes
-Melody  see youtube  http://youtu.be/76XfsSq0GPA  
-Composer: Not sure who wrote this song.  I know Peter Alsop and Charlotte Diamond have popular versions.
C
I am a pizza
………G
With extra cheese
G7
From tomatoes
C
Sauce is squeezed
F
Onions and mushrooms
G
Oregano
AmG          C Am
I    am    a   pizza
G7            C
Ready to go
—————–
C
I am a pizza
G
Pepperoni
G7
No anchovies
C
Or phony baloney
F
I am a pizza
G
Order by phone
AmG          C Am
I    am    a   pizza
G7                     C
Please take me home
———————–
(There are those who add a whole verse for the pizza cooking via the words: blub blub blub blub…. then continue with I am a pizza …with fresh baked crust. I am a pizza ready to bust.
—————————————————–)
C
I am a pizza
G
Peppers on top
G7
Out of the oven
C
Into the box
F
Into the car and
G
Upside down
AmG          C Am
I    am    a   pizza G7                      C
I       am a pizza   dropped on the ground.
————————————————–
(With great drama and sadness)
C
I was a pizza
G
I was the best
Am   G          C Am
I    WAS   a   pizza
G7            C
Now I’m a mess!

 I like to repeat that last part and add an

Iccy sticky gooie

Am   G          C Am

I      WAS   a     pizza
G7            C
Now I’m a mess!

 

 

CD Names with Song Titles and Uses /benefits /goals for each (music therapy CD) track

 
Benefits and uses of MIXING IT UP
 
 1.   Hey Hello
Benefits: Good for encouraging language via catchy, predictable, repeated “hey, hello” phrase.
To elicit more interaction, try singing hello into a mic. (Party stores sell cheap, fun toy mics).
 
2. Move it to the Music.
Benefits: One step direction/movement concepts of move, shake, scratch, twist, jump, and dance. Impulse and motor control via the stopping and starting.
 
3. I’ve Got the Music In Me
Benefits: This is a good song for following simple directions, and making fun sounds that can help with articulation and intelligibility. The last verse is especially for this.
 
 4. Body Rap
Benefits: This song provides for great energy release and incorporates sequencing
 patterning, and memory skills.
 
5. Everybody Touch your Head
Benefits: This song helps children learn various body parts and spatial concepts.
 
6. We All Have Feelings
Benefits: This song assists the verbal and non-verbal expression of feelings.
 
7. Tweet, Tweet Little Birdy
Benefits: Vocalization, listening comprehension, pretending/abstracting.
Older children can immediately echo each phrase during the short pause. This helps to  develop sentence length and related memory.
 
8. Everybody Touch (karaoke/fill-in)
This version is to teach personalized concepts- go as tricky or as simple as you want.
 
9. Very Best Band
Benefits: This song is good for attention span, turn taking, instrument vocabulary and  
identification, impulse control, sequencing, and contributing to the group.
 
 10. Jump High, Turn Around
Benefits: Children follow a sequence of three directions.
 
11. Teddies to Turtles
Benefits: Following multiple directions, creativity, imagination (abstraction).
 
12. Sharing, Caring, Moving and Growing
Benefits: This is a relaxing, beautiful song to sing and /or sign to.
—————————————————————————————————-
 
Benefits of MOVE!
 
1.Everybody Wave Hello
This song opens our time together and sets the stage for upcoming learning.
Children can the the opportunity to follow three one-step directions,
while reaching out to connect with other people.
 
2. Doin’ the Robot Dance
To improve auditory processing skills (listening and following directions.)
The rapid-fire lyrics command attention and help children to learn the words
associated with ways of specific body parts. Older children can move to the beat.
 
3. Move and Stop
Younger children can simply follow the one-step directions.
Children relate body parts with an associated motion.
This song is also good for improving auditory attention skills, and motor/impulse control. Older children can perform the last line (three 1-step directions in rapid   sequence).
 
4. Stand up, Sit Back Down
To provide a positive outlet for a natural action of children, (to leave their seat.)
To foster learning of body parts and ways to move them.
Children move specified body parts as suggested by song.
Children move in creative ways within the confines suggested by lyrics
 
5. Growl, Growl, Stomp
 This song helps with listening and pretending skills, both needed for cognitive development.
 It also stimulates attention (to the movements of the mother and baby bears,)
as well as auditory anticipation and vocalization of “Grrowl!” The repetitive “growl,                                                                growl, stomp!) gives a sense of sequencing and energy/vocal release.
 
6. The Yee-haw Song
This song requires receptive understanding of body parts and associated movements, as well as expressive use of the word “Yeehaw!  Children can simulate the galloping sound of a horse by tapping their knees  during the chorus, or by pretending to ride a horse like a cowboy. Older children can perform the directive twice and sing “yeehaw!”
 
7.  Multi-Step Blues
To improve ability to follow a (long) string  of quick one-step directions and control one’s actions
body vocabulary and associated verbs, attention, backward sequencing of directions, motor control
and outlet for energy.
 
8. OPPOSITE JAM
Helps facilitate the understanding of each concept individually (tall, small,   happy, sad, lift, arms, up, flutter, down, fast, slow, squeeze, and relax) and in contrast to it’s opposite. Other benefits: body vocabulary and associated verbs, attention, backward sequencing of  directions, motor control and outlet for energy.
 
9. THE CATERPILLAR
To stimulate pretending and other higher process thinking skills. To foster focus, bodily relaxation and the concept of slow. To teach about how a caterpillar turns into a butterfly.  Sometimes our lives can do the same. Making dreams come true.
 
10 .  Move it by your Chair
Aids in experiential learning of the concepts: in front of, behind, on the side,
over, and under. The children learn about spacial relationships (prepositions) and counting
while dancing freely to a lively beat. You may want to pause the CD after each direction is  sung, help the children to the correct location, and then resume the music and dancing.
The children can relax and listen to the fading drum beats at the end of the song.
 
11. One Step Blues
This song provides a deal of time to process the meaning of verbs and related body parts.
Children can carry out the one part direction to the timing of the related sound effects. This is good for auditory attending and memory.
 
12. Thinking Song -version one: chords
To help teach body parts and simple problem solving.
Older children can pretend to rock a baby each time they hear the words“baby”, and “honey.” They can also alternate or switch sides of the body each time a direction is given within a verse, as this is good for integrating sides of the brain.
 
13. Stand Up, Sit Down (version 2)
The directions to the song are easier to understand and less the accompaniment is less distracting.
 
14. Thinking Song -level two
This song fosters listening and creative problem-solving. It requires knowledge of body parts and quick deciphering skills. Older children can pretend to rock a baby each time they hear the words“baby”, and “honey.” They can also alternate or switch sides of the body each time a direction is given within a verse, as this is good for integrating sides of the brain.
 
15. Growl, Growl, Stomp (instrumental version.)
Just nice to listen or sing along to.
 
16. Music time is Over
This peacefully ends the listening time.  This song naturally lends itself to swaying, rocking, and holding hands.
Everyone can end on a positive, social, successful, relaxing note.
———————————————————————————————————————
 
Benefits of SING CD
 
1.  Open your Mouth
Purpose: to open the session in a friendly, social, and successful  manner.
To help children create the “ah,” “oo,” and “ee.” vowels  and articulate the “ooh-ee”  sound.
 
2. Monkey Song
The children gain vocal and oral-motor experience as they sing “ah,”  “ee,” and “ooh.”
They remember and sequence sound patterns.
 
3. The Leeway Train
This song helps the kid’s speech skills through making the appropriate sound effects.
 
4. The Puppet Song (version one)
Children connect an animal with the sound it produces.
Children vocalize the animal sounds.  Children hear and produce loud and soft sounds.
 
5. Tap it on your head – – acapella version
Helps to teach body part vocabulary and articulation/vocalization.
The good thing about it being acappella is that the words are easy to hear and the feel of the music is gentler.
 
6. Variations on Miss Mary Mack
This silly song not only entices children to repeat each short phrase, but invites them to discuss the absurdities.
 
7. Sing an Echo song
This song is used to help children improve the ability to produce certain sounds, increase phrase  length, and improve auditory attention and memory.  All four skills are used by children as they put words together
in increasingly complex sentences.
 
8. TDLN 50s Arctic Song
To improve the ability to “Do-wop” and articulate the “T”, “D”, “L,” and “N” sounds.
These sounds all involve placing the tip of the tongue behind the top of the upper teeth.
 
9. Three Little Monkeys
To encourage use of sentences. Also good for sequencing of ideas and understanding of lyrics
as demonstrated by pretend play.
 
10. the Wolf Cub
Children vocalize the “ooh” sound of the wolf.
Children act out the lyrics, and demonstrate an understanding of the concepts involved
; open,  shake, over, under, up, down, side, and families.
 
11. The Vehicle song
Vocalization and vocal play, imitation of common sounds, articulation.
 
12. The puppet Song II
To elicit vocalization of animal sounds. This is necessary for speech and involves articulation of specified sounds.
 
13. Tap it on your Head – – Full version
Helps to teach body part vocabulary and articulation/vocalization. This version works with kids who need the extra stimulation to elicit attention.
 
14. Sing an Echo song   blank/fill-in verses
Have the kids sing the first sound of their name, or the letter/sound  of  the week, or about the sound a sheep makes, or blow a kiss.  You can also vary the rhythm of the sounds such as “bah. Bah. Be-be  bah.” Make little memory drills by singing such phrases as “be-bo-bay.”If you don’t sing solo, then just speak these things over the music.
 
15. Goodbye Now
Children catch on to the rhythm and continuity of the lyrics quickly. It’s a natural way to teach the goodbye interaction, and it can include waving, shaking hands, holding hands, and blowing kisses (another good oral-motor skill.)
———————————————————————————————————————————————-
   
Benefits of PLAY CD
 
1. Homemade Band
This tune opens the jam session on a positive note! They are introduced
to several instruments of a jazz or rock band.
 
2. Soft, Loud, Slow, Fast Review
This is a good opportunity to introduce the children to recognizing (perceiving) and creating different volumes                     and speeds (ie: dynamics and tempos).The four sound qualities used in music are also used in speech.
 
3. Children, Come Play
Benefits: Auditory attention, processing, and conceptualization.
The children experience creating “fast,” “slow,” “loud,” and “soft” music.
 
4. Play and Do This
 Benefits: Teaches sequencing/patterning of events, ability to follow directions.
Helps children with the concepts of “under,” “stop,” “get it.”
 
5. Play and Pass
Purpose: To foster attention, turn taking,  and sharing among friends.
 
6. You’ve got to Wait!
 Benefits: Certainly a catchy song for a topic that can be tricky
 
7.Three Little Sound Effects
 Purpose:  To encourage vocal/sound play and auditory memory
 
8.  Play an Echo Song
 
Benefits:   Children play instruments along with various rhythmic sequences.
This is good for auditory attention, auditory memory, coordination, and patterning
 
10-15.   and   16-21
Make you Move!
Hear and D0  (Instrument Sounds)
 
Benefits: Auditory discrimination and connecting a sound with a meaning to be enacted through seated or standing movement.  Impulse control, energy release, memory, imagination. See the whole CD track(s) write up for directions. 
 
22.  Sound-Off
  Purpose:  This song closes the session. Benefits: enforcing the skill of “audiation” or hearing the sounds/music in           your mind( like Bingo or John Brown’s Baby). Its actually a pre-reading skill and prepares the brain for higher learning. 
 
This collection of songs and activities would be a great example of songs for autistic kids, songs for children with autism, parents of special needs kids, parents of children with special needs,  songs for speech therapy songs, music for special education, songs for teaching kids, songs for day care centers, lessons plans for teachers, music education lesson plans and more! Basically, it is for all children and the young at heart to enjoy. 

“Snow”: teaches more winter vocabulary – music therapy / education lesson plan for toddlers and preschoolers

-Age: 1-5

-Goal Area: winter clothing vocabulary (receptive and/or expressive.) This poem also emphasizes the article “the” and promotes a longer length of utterance (ie: sentence.)

-Objective: Children point and/or sing the items presented via lyrics

-Materials: Pictures of items mentioned in song.

-Method:  sing, point, and do.  Make good use of props.

-Submitted by: Margie La Bella of music therapy tunes.

-Lyrics are from a children’s photocopy book filled with similar rhymes for nearly every preschool occasion. Please let me know the source!

Melodies: You can use Twinkle Twinkle,  Turkey in the straw, Farmer in the Dell, Down in the Valley,  Adam’s Family, and more.  I use an old church song from my childhood.

– – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –

There’s snow on the hat.  Snow on the suit.

Snow on the mittens.  Snow on the boot.

Snow on the sled.  Snow on the tree.

Snow on the hill.  Snow on me.

Snow on the house.  Snow on the stairs.

Snow on the window.  There’s snow everywhere.

“Old School Fill in the blanks Rap Song” music therapy activity for kids and adolescents

Here’s an old rap that I found in the back of the vaults of time. It’s old school but can certainly be used.  The therapist and/or the group can keep the beat (tap tap TAP) while the soloist reads, or a chosen friend or teacher raps the rhyme.  Add in solos and a group discussion. Of course kids can add their own words, within the confines of the facility/groups rules. This sort of thing should be addressed beforehand with the therapy team and administrators. The result can be recorded or the process videoed. Goals can include starting out with a new group, getting to know each other, cohesion and cooperation, academic skills, and more…..

 ______________, __________is my name.

Me and  ___________ are one and the same.
I like ___________it’s my favorite game.
I don’t like ___________it’s not the same.

 

__________________give me a head-ache.
Don’t want to ___________for goodnes sake.
I’d rather_________with my free time.
__________________feels just fine.

 

I like to _______when I’m mad.
But ________makes me sad.
_____spooks me.
_______oooks me.
And when I ________I feel glad.

 

I have ____people in my family.
There’s ___and then there’s me.
Everybody give me a cheer.
I did _______and I’m outta here. 
 
 
Please send in any activities or musical processes  that you use with children, adolescents or adults of all ages and abilities. These could be activities for use for kids, adolescents or adults that have autism, adhd, add, down’s / down syndrome, speech language delays, oral-motor issues, physical disabilities, mental health issues, conduct disorder, cerebral palsy and other issues that we human have to contend with.  I’m also interested in any activities for people dealing with health issues, dementia, Alzheimer’s, chemical dependency, other addictions, grief, cancer, pain management and any other life issue.  I have just installed a “spam” locator which means that I’ll actually get the mail as mail. Please email me at margie@musictherapytunes.com and put activity in the subject line. Give yourself (or the author/composer)  all the credit you want or remain anonymous. Thank you!! – Margie La Bella at music therapy tunes
 

“In the Winter Time, when we’re feelin’ Fine” winter activity music therapy song for children

-Age: 2 to 10+
-Goal Area: language, creativity, attention, memory
-Objective: Kids move and/or sing along to song. They come up with their own winter activities and incorporate their answers into the lyrics and actions.
-Materials: Variation of “Down by the Sea” by1991 Smilin’ Atcha Music, Inc.
Written by Red and Kathy Grammer from the recording Down the Do-Re-Mi
-Method: Sing and Do. This works best when the children are given choices of activities to choose from ie: drawings!
Of course the path and pace of the activity will determined by the group’s age and abilities.
-Submitted by: Margie La Bella of music therapy tunes.
-Melody and Words can be heard at (highlight link and right click) http://www.redgrammer.com/media/mp3/DownbytheSea.mp3
-This is an example of a backwards chaining song like “The 12 days of Christmas.”  

1. In the winter time, When we’re feeling fine.

We drink Hot Cocoa (gulp, gulp or blow air 2 times)

Isn’t it wonderful. Isn’t it fine (just) chillin’ out in the winter time.

—————————————–

2. In the winter time, When we’re feeling fine.

We make angles in the snow (whush, whush)
We drink Hot Cocoa (gulp, gulp)

 Isn’t it wonderful. Isn’t it fine (just) chillin’ out in the winter time.

—————————————–

3. In the winter time,  When we’re feeling fine.
We throw snow balls (crash, crash)
We make angels in the snow (whush, whush)
We drink Hot Cocoa. (gulp, gulp)

 Isn’t it wonderful. Isn’t it fine (just) chillin’ out in the winter time.

——————————————-

4. In the winter time,When we’re feeling fine.

We wear hats and gloves (push, pull)
We throw snow balls (crash, crash)
We make angels in the snow (whush, whush)
We drink Hot Cocoa. (gulp, gulp)

 Isn’t it wonderful. Isn’t it fine (just) chillin’ out in the winter time.

————————————————-

5 In the winter time. When we’re feeling fine.

We watch videos (look, look)……..

“Sequencing Movement Picture Dance” activity lesson plan for music therapy for Winter, Spring, Summer or Fall season.

Goal: to stimulate attention span and language development

Objective: Students will select a card, describe the card, and imitate the action depicted in the card. Students will perform the action suggested by several pictures in a row creating a dance movement pattern to a meaningful song.

Materials:  a song (I find instrumental is better bc the children don’t get distracted by the words,) mp3 or cd player, pictures depicting actions.

Method: Therapist calls a child and asks him/her to select a picture. The child identifies the action depicted and comes up with a related movement. The therapists asks questions regarding the picture and helps the student answer (who is that, what are they doing, he is moving his____? Show me how you do that.)  The therapist asks several students to select a picture and then encourages the children to do each movement in sequence – creating a sort of dance.  Put on the music (I like instrumental) and move along.  Remember that less verbal students can show comprehension by pointing, gesturing, or moving.  There are many ways to answer a question.  If you need help, ask a Speech therapist or teacher to guide you.

Adaptations: Have the pictures correlate with a unit or topic the classroom teacher or other therapist are presenting.  I often do seasonally related movements.  Being that it’s nearly January 2013, pictures can include zipping a coat, pulling on boots, making snow angels, throwing snowballs, drinking hot cocoa……